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Interparliamentary groups

78 interparliamentary groups have been set up so far, thus putting the Senate in relations with the political and parliamentary institutions of 184 countries. 18 of them focus on a regional area while the rest of it have a single-country field of investigation. Favoured means of bilateral cooperation between Parliaments, these senatorial friendship groups have become major actors of parliamentary diplomacy.

Missions abroad and information reports

The missions abroad aim at gaining in understanding with the concrete situation of the visited countries and, if the need arises, at promoting the influence of our country, notably in economic, commercial and cultural matters. The interparliamentary groups also lay solid foundations considering the establishment of projects centred on decentralised cooperation. Since 1995 many have availed themselves of the offered possibility to publish their reports, whose content is most of the time available on line in full text.

Economic affairs colloquia

Moreover, in addition to these traditional activities, new initiatives are being developed with the support of the International Relations Department to give a fair light in the senatorial reasoning to the economic issues at stake. In that regard, economic gatherings are frequently held with the partnership of the UbiFrance (former French Center of Foreign Trade). These eminently practical meetings are designed to improve the knowledge of the countries concerned and especially to put on the forefront the opportunities these markets represent for French companies. These symposiums host a numerous public made of parliamentarians, heads of local entities, foreign political figures and entrepreneurs. Fruitful contacts may subsequently be struck up between representatives of the French exporting sector and foreign authorities.

Enhancement of a field of expertise

In a parallel move, the interparliamentary groups, with the support of the International Relations Department, increase their partnerships so as to develop the Senate's know-how in the international domain. Bodies concerned by this policy of association are the International Studies and Research Center (CERI), which is part of the Institute of Political Science, the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), the Institute of Advanced Internal Security Studies and Carrefour Iéna International among the most noticeable.